Major News and Events of 16 December 2013
What Happened on 16 December 2013
BJP wins the Churu seat
Headline Inflation increases by 7.52% in November
Test Series between India and South Africa a tussle to rank higher in the ICC rating table
On Dec 27 launch of GSAT-14 to be decided by ISRO
Income Tax Department starts Recovering Defaulted Tax of Kingfisher Airlines
Bharat Ratna Awarded Scientist says Financial Contribution of Industry is Significantly Low in India
Kabaddi World Cup 2013 – India Wins and retains Title
Sourav Declines BJP's 2014 Lok Sabha Offer
Rajnikanth's Humility Floors Sachin Tendulkar
RJD chief Lalu Prasad was released from the Birsa Munda Central Jail in Ranchi after he was granted bail by the Supreme Court on Friday since September 30 after receiving a 5 year sentence in the fodder scam. Lalu stated that the allegation against him is baseless and that the CBI has done injustice to him. Lalu also spoke about the situation in Delhi ans specified that here the parties contest elections but do not want to form the government. He also specified that he is ready to take on Narendra Modi and that he does not want any communal force to come in India. Lalu was granted bail when it was observed by the Supreme Court bench that 37 of 44 accused in the case have already been released by the Jharkhand high court. Lalu’s bail means tough times for JD(U) and BJP who may have perceived RJD disintegrating Lalu’s arrest. Lalu , moved the apex court after the HC refused his bail plea.
BJP on Monday was victorious in the Churu seat in Rajasthan where the final count stands at 163 out of 200 seats in the Assembly. BJP's R.S. Rathore won against his nearest rival of Congress’s Hazi Maqbool Manddelia, who is a sitting MLA by 24000 votes. Rathore acquired 84100 votes, while Maqbool grabbed 60098. Rathore who is viewed as Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje's loyal changed his seat from Taranagar Assembly constituency where he was a sitting MLA to Churu. Polling in Churu was postponed as BSP candidate Jagdish Meghwal died and polling was held on December 13 with 78.55% voter’s turnout.
The country’s headline inflation which is calculated on wholesale prices increased by 7.52% in November as prices of fuel and food increased. In the previous month it was 7% while in November last year it was 7.24%. Food prices soared up by 19.93% compared to 18.19% in October year on year basis. Prices of vegetables rose by whopping 95.25% in November year-on-year, onion prices increased by 190.34%. Potatoes got expensive by 26.71 percent. Fruits were costlier by 13.73% and prices of eggs, meat and fish increased by 15.19% year-on-year. Cereal prices rose by 11.32% year-on-year. Rice got expensive by 14.99%. Wheat was costlier by 7.21%, fuel and power inflation increased by 11.08% in November. LPG prices increased by 10.90%, petrol was expensive by 4.42% and diesel prices increased by 15.65%. The industrial output has decreased by 1.8% during October in comparison to 8.4% in the corresponding month of last year.
The two test series between India and South Africa will begin in Johannesburg on Wednesday. India will be looking to bridge the gap of points between them. South Africa, the top team in the ICC Test Team rankings table has 131 ratings points, while India has 119 points. Both the teams will retain their rankings independent of the result of the series. If India wins both the tests it will have in its kitty 5 more points and will stand with 124 points while South Africa will come down to 125. If India wins the series by 1-0 then it will acquire four rati¬¬¬¬ng points and will have a total of 123 points whereas South Africa will have 126 ratings points. If the series is a draw then India will gain a point and South Africa will lose a point. If there is a 1-0 series win by South Africa India will lose two points and 2-0 series win will mean India has to shed 3 points. Cheteshwar Pujara at sixth position is the highest ranked batsmana and Virat Kohli at 20th spot is the only Indian batsman apart from Pujara the top 20. Ravichandran Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha are in 5th and 9th spots in bowler’s list while Ashwin tops the all rounders list with 419 rating points.
Science and Technology
ISRO on Dec 27 will be fixing the date for the launch of GSAT-14 , the communication satellite. It will be launching the same utilizing the GSLV. On August 19 the satellite was about to be launched but few hours prior to that liquid fuel was leaking from the 2nd stage/engine. The cryogenic third stage/engine is developed by ISRO. This engine can provide more impact for every kilogram of the propellant which is burnt. Launch of GSAT-14 is very much required for India as it will be the initial step towards manufacturing rockets which can carry up to four tonnes of payload. Cryogenic technique also needs to be perfected so that foreign exchange can be saved and India can launch the communication satellites by itself.
In a recent development on the long impending tax default case of Kingfisher Airlines, Income Tax department of India has started the process of recovering its impending due from the already kaput company. To recover the impending tax, amounting to Rs 350 crores, Income Tax department has attached all assets of liquor Barron Vijay Mallya’s Kingfisher Airlines. Most interestingly, multi-millionaire Vijay Mallya, had deducted tax at source from salaries of employees during 2010-11 as well as 2011-12. However, Mallya’s now defunct airline failed to remit these deducted money (from other payments and employees’ salaries) to the concerned government account. A senior official of Income Tax Department, Lokesha, also informed the press that under the 2nd schedule of Income Tax Act, 1961, the property at Western Express Highway, near domestic airport of Mumbai - Kingfisher House, was also attached for the purpose of impending tax recovery. The department was also infuriated by management of Kingfisher Airlines because the later failed to honor the December 5, 2013 directive of Karnataka High Court that specifically asked the management to pay off 50% of the demand and place bank guarantee for the remaining amount of money within 6 weeks. Kingfisher had earlier filed special leave petition on January 16, 2013 against the directive of High Court. However, recently Supreme Court had dismissed the concerned petition. Tax department clarified its stand after a report emerged saying State Bank of India (SBI) led lender consortium of banks was laying its claim on the properties of the now defunct Kingfisher Airlines.
Science and Technology
C. N. R. Rao, eminent scientist and Bharat Ratna awardee, has said that the investment of industries in development of science is strikingly low in comparison to the same that has taken place in developed Western Countries.
While making his point the Bharat Ratna awarded scientist said, most of the fund that are invested in science in India is from the government and not from the industry till date. He also showed statistics of industry’s contribution to science in western countries. In Cambridge or the US, around 40 to 45% of the money in science comes from the industry. However, in India 90% of the funding to science is done by the government. Rao specifically said that the scientific innovation, that brings technical advancement to the society as a whole, can truly happen in India if the entire society takes interest in science and contributes wholeheartedly.
While making this statement he inferred that the outlook of Indian society as a whole seems placid towards science and that reflects through value system of the society. As a discipline in India, science is placed at the bottom of society’s value system, C N R Rao reiterated. He insisted if science has to contribute significantly for the progress of emerging Indian economy and society, better support should be provided to it, especially financially. At a time when the entire world is looking at India as an emerging power, India has no other option but to create institutions where young people can get enough support for working enthusiastically. Other noted personalities who did significant contribution to science such as Venkataraman Ramakrishnan and MS Swaminathan also aired similar concerns as C N R Rao.
Venkataraman Ramakrishnan, biologist and Nobel Laureate, emphasized if India wants to take giant strides in molecular biology, it must invest more in molecular biology. He also stressed focus should be given in increasing its own intellectual property.
MS Swaminathan, one of the celebrated agriculture scientists, expressed concern on stagnation of agricultural research. Father of Green Revolution also pointed out that India has to tap the unexplored production reservoir so that second green revolution can be brought to keep India self reliant in food supply and also improve its foreign capital reserve.
Bharat Ratna awarded scientist C N R Rao told that he has already approached Planning Commission and asked them to formulate a program that will make teaching a national mission for the next 5 years.
India clinches Kabaddi World Cup title for 4th consecutive time. The win has been more satisfying for India as it defeated its all time arch rival – Pakistan and that’s too with a margin of 9 points. The final score was 48-39. The final game was played between India and Pakistan at Guru Nanak Stadium in Ludhiana. First half of the game was tensed as both the sides gave each other a close fight. However, Pakistan team started to falter as the game progressed. In the end, India secured the title with a comprehensive win.
Host country of the World Cup, India, not only won the winner’s trophy but also bagged Rs. 2crores, as cash reward. Pakistan won the runners up title and won cash reward of Rs. 1crore. There was more good news for India Kabaddi team in the prize distribution ceremony. Indian team also won the best stopper and raider prizes. They won tractors as respective prizes.
The game took place in extreme cold condition, per Indian weather situation. Dignitaries who distributed the prizes were Shahbaz Sharif (Pakistan's Chief Minister of Punjab province), Parkash Singh Badal (India’s Chief Minister of Punjab state), and Sukhbir Singh Badal (India’s Deputy Chief Minister of Punjab state). The prize distribution along with the ending ceremony concluded in the midnight of December 14, 2013.
This comprehensive win was like icing on the top of cake as Indian women’s team also won the Women’s Kabaddi World Cup couple of days back, beating New Zealand.
Sourav Ganguly, one of the best captains India has produced till date, has declined the offer of becoming BJP’s candidate in the upcoming 2014 Lok Sabha Elections. There has been a lot of talking going on in media as well as in the political circle after he confirmed reports on Saturday, he has been approached by Bharatiya Janata Party regarding joining politics. Unlike last time, when he said he is a sports person and prefers to be there only, this time he took some time saying he was giving a thought to the proposal. In fact, some months back Narendra Modi had asked Sourav personally to become a candidate of BJP in the next general elections and also promised he would be made Sports Minister of his cabinet if his party assumes power at the center. However, on Sunday Ganguly categorically mentioned in a press meet that his job is on the field and not in the assembly. When asked about a seat in Rajya Sabha, Sourav only shook his head. After Ganguly confirmed report of receiving invitation from BJP, he was later approached by Congress too. Politburo Member of CPI(M), Sitaram Yechury, later claimed that Sourav Ganguly is a left supporter. As a sport icon of Bengal Sourav not only enjoys good relation with former Chief Minister of West Bengal, Buddhadev Bhattacharya, but also with many ministers of Trinamool Congress.
‘God’ of Indian cricket, Sachin Tendulkar admires ‘Thalaivar’ (meaning Boss) Rajnikanth and is also delighted to know that the south Indian film star was a cricket lover himself. During 25th anniversary of India’s first private news channel, NDTV, Sachin and Rajinikanth were among the 25 Greatest Global Living Indians who were honored this day. During the program, 40 year old cricketing legend saluted Rajnikanth and said he was floored by the humility shown by the legend by giving Sachin a visit. The cricketing genius, who retired recently from international cricket said that he was amused to know that the south Indian film superstar loves cricket and follows the game closely. Sachin also said that during their discussion they talked about various cricket matches, especially the ones between the arch rivals India and Pakistan. The Master Blaster has confessed that he is yet to come to reality about his retirement. He still can’t believe that he will not be played for his country again. Tendulkar is spending a lot of time with his family and most importantly playing cricket with his son, Arjun. The father-son duo also catches up a live match together as the ‘God’ finds it tough to keep himself away from cricket. While questioned about Arjun and his cricket Sachin quickly replied there is no shortcut.